Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The six-minute rule

No, not for food dropped on the floor. (I think that's a 30-second rule.) For kiddo's behavior. He's great for six minutes. Then not so much.

That's more or less the interval they're using with him at school; if his timer goes off and he's on task, he gets a smiley on his behavior chart. If not, no smiley. If he gets enough smileys, he earns Lego-building time at home. This is the current behavior plan. We've had many behavior plans. I can't wait until he gets to college and asks his RA during freshman orientation, "Who signs my chart?"

He's been earning lots of smileys. Which is wonderful. And then two minutes later, he does something not wonderful. Like, say, tossing a beanbag at the ceiling, and getting it stuck there.

The beanbag is from his weighted vest. It's a nice vest, in that it's denim and looks like real clothing, and doesn't scream I am a special needs child and you should treat me differently. But the vest is designed for easy access to the weights, in case you need to add or remove them; it's not designed to keep the weights from falling out. Which they do, all the time, especially since kiddo is supposed to be wearing and removing the vest at timed intervals. Basically the vest is fine if the child wearing it isn't ever going to move around. You can see the irony.

So he somehow ended up with a beanbag in his hand and for some reason thought it would be funny to toss the thing at the ceiling. In a one-in-a-million shot, he got it lodged between two ceiling panels, and there it stayed. Kiddo promptly melted down, because he said I would be mad at him, and tried to get the beanbag back. This apparently involved climbing on top of desks. Standing on desks is only acceptable if you're in "Dead Poets Society."

He didn't get suspended, but we strongly suspect no one would have objected if we'd just volunteered to take him home. (We didn't.) Remember how we didn't get approval on an aide for kiddo? This topic may be coming up again, and loudly.

So, six minutes. He's great in gymnastics for six minutes, and then he's sprawling on the floor instead of stretching. He's great in the supermarket for six minutes, and then he's rearranging all the mint tins at the register. He's great in the morning for -- actually, no, getting him dressed is a feat of Herculean proportions.

I feel sometimes like we're living in six-minute intervals. Everything OK? Everything OK now? How about now? It's a little tiring.

He's great all the time when he's building Legos. If only he could do that all day. Maybe there's a Lego school somewhere.

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